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Airport strike grounds carnival travellers in Brazil

Airport strike grounds carnival travellers in Brazil

SAO PAULO: A two hour strike on Wednesday by airline staff across Brazil grounded hundreds of flights, paralyzing travel in Latin America’s biggest country ahead of Carnival season’s biggest parties.

The brief strike forced 408 delays and 138 cancellations out of 798 flights, the state-run airports administrator Infraero said.

Pilots are seeking higher salaries to compensate for inflation, which now tops 10 percent, the Air Workers Union said. The union is demanding an 11 per cent raise.

Domestic flights took the brunt of the stoppage, which came as Carnival parties around the country gather pace, with Rio staging its famous parades in the Sambadrome starting Sunday.

Twelve airports took part in the strike, including the Galeao and smaller Santos Dumont in Rio de Janeiro, the capital Brasilia, and the country’s biggest airport, Guarulhos in Sao Paulo.

Inflation reached 10.67 per cent in Brazil in 2015, the highest rate since 2002, while the national currency has plunged in value and the economy entered a deepening recession.

Published in Dawn, February 4th, 2016

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